Support for Small Businesses in Fort McMurray

Financial assistance available in September

Small businesses recovering from the Fort McMurray wildfire will have access to two complementary recovery programs as they resume operations and support their employees. The first program – funded by the governments of Alberta, Canada and the Canadian Red Cross – will provide up to $20,000 to cover costs, including new equipment, property damage and cleanup. The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo has also allocated funding to support a second program to provide small businesses with wages and labour assistance.

Deron Bilous, Minister of Economic Development and Trade says, “In the face of one of our country’s worst natural disasters, Fort McMurray businesses are showing incredible resilience and taking the lead in rebuilding their city. The Canadian Red Cross, Mayor Blake and I met with small business leaders here. They told us this is the kind of support that will help them get them back on their feet – we listened and we worked together to make it happen.”

Jenn McManus, Vice President of the Canadian Red Cross, Alberta and Northwest Territories says, “Small businesses are part of the community fabric that is essential for the full recovery of people affected by a disaster. Thanks to the generosity of Canadians and support from government, small business owners, sole proprietors and tradespeople affected by the Alberta fires will get the help they need.”

It is estimated that as many as 4,000 small businesses including liquor stores have been affected by the wildfire in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.

More information on supports available to RMWB small business is online at redcross.ca/AlbertaFiresBusiness . Local businesses can also contact the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo’s Business Recovery Hotline at 1-855-RMWB BIZ (1-855-769-2249). This hotline provides updates for business owners and links them to local resources.